In the first part of this article, we looked at the beginnings and heyday of the Ghia coachbuilder, but we must also look at the twilight of the company, which came after the previous ones.
After Segre’s death in 1963, the company went through a series of changes of ownership, being sold to Ramfis Trujillo, who passed it on to Alejandro de Tomaso in 1967, who finally sold it to Ford in 1970. The bodywork shop closed at 1973. In the years that followed, Ghia became one of Ford’s styling centres, continuing to offer variants and prototypes and playing a very active role in defining the design movement known as New Edge Design, which flourished between 1998 and 2005. The last car designed by Ghia before the styling centre closed in 2001 was the Ghia Saetta, later transformed into the Ford StreetKa, which has been produced by Pininfarina since 2003.
Between 1973 and 2010, Ford used the Ghia brand to identify the most luxurious versions of its car models. In 2010, Ford replaced the Ghia cover and removed the coachbuilder’s name from its cars.
Ghia is still owned by Ford Motor Company and focuses on the European market. Today, the company operates as a concept car creator.
And at the very end of our article, we have an interesting story about a supercar from the 1950s that, ambivalently, didn’t move on its own for half a century.
America’s production cars in the fifties were the stuff of tailfin madness, often bearing the markings of jet planes and rockets. Luigi Segre, a design engineer who became the owner of Carrozzeria Ghia in 1954, had an early friendship with Virgil Exner, Chrysler’s chief designer. Thus a series of dreamy Ghia Special study cars were born, but they were all ‘normal’ road cars with working petrol engines. Then, in ’55, the Italian-American collaborators decided to go bigger and create the lowest possible drag car, powered by a gas turbine. At the time, others were also experimenting with this. Giovanni Savonuzzi, the Ghia’s chief designer, was asked to design the bodywork, and he was, we could say, an aerodynamics specialist. The result was the Ghia Gilda Stramline X, a real car with only one shortcoming: none of the gas turbines of the time fitted, leaving it without an engine. In 1955, it was exhibited at the Turin Motor Show. After the premiere, a long tour was organised for the car, first in Europe and then in the United States. Later, it was handed over to various museums in America. In 2005, a collector bought it at auction, had it restored and acquired a suitable engine: a 70 hp Airesearch gas turbine. After half a century, the Ghia Gilda Streamline X is now a fully-fledged car, capable of speeds of up to 220 km/h.
The Ghia was therefore one of the most influential figure in car design of the last century, and its impact on the present is significant. It is no coincidence that Ghia is considered one of the best Italian car designers the world has ever seen.

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